Manuel Locatelli hopes grow for Arsenal as guru claims deal has a good chance

Manuel Locatelli, US Sassuolo

Arsenal are growing in confidence that a deal for Manuel Locatelli can be struck after it revealed the midfielder is more than willing to make a transfer to Emirates Stadium.

The 23-year-old has risen to become a key player for both club and country, hence the speculation over his future. While Manchester City had early transfer links, those have faded. Instead, Arsenal and Juventus have emerged as the main contenders for the Italy Euro 2020 star’s signature.

Indeed, it is the Gunners who have so far made the only bid for his signature. Sassuolo chief Giovanni Carnevali also revealed at the start of July that Arsenal were “ahead” of their rivals in the transfer race.

Mikel Arteta’s hopes looked to have faded when Locatelli apparently gave his side a firm ‘no’ earlier this week.

However, Carnevali revealed on Thursday that talks to sell Locatelli were advancing with an overseas side. And while Arsenal were not named, hope grew among supporters it could be the Gunners.

Now, trusted Italian transfer guru Fabrizio Romano says that while Locatelli prefers Juventus, he is still intrigued by Arsenal.

The Italian giants though have financial issues and are yet to match the reported €40m asking price.

And that, according to Romano, could well turn the tide in Arsenal’s favour.

Appearing on the Don Robbie Podcast, Romano said: “I can confirm that Arsenal want Locatelli, they consider him a perfect player for Arsenal and the Premier League.

“But at the moment Arsenal have a smart strategy with Locatelli, the only one they can have in this situation.

Arsenal, Manuel Locatelli transfer chances rates

Arsenal, Manuel Locatelli transfer chances rates

Juventus look set to beat Arsenal to the signing of Euro 2020 star Manuel Locatelli as the Italian allegedly prefers a move to the Turin giants.

“So they are waiting to see what happens with Juventus, because the player’s priority is Juventus.

“Locatelli wants to join Juventus, but he isn’t refusing Arsenal. He has the dream of playing Champions League football and joining Juventus because he is Italian.

“But, if they can’t find an agreement, Sassuolo would be open to accepting bids from Arsenal, it will be up to the player.

“So keep an eye on Arsenal, because they are just waiting. They are respecting the player. But after this meeting with Juventus we will have some answers about Locatelli’s situation. Arsenal are still there and are still very interested.”

Locatelli open to moving abroad

Locatelli had previously ruled out a move outside of Serie A.

However, in a more recent interview, the player said he had an open mind, though was leaving talks with his agent.

“Why not?” Locatelli responded when asked if he’d move outside of Italy.

“Playing abroad is an option for me and I’m not closing the door to anything. I don’t like to speak too much about the transfer market because that concerns my agents and the Sassuolo management.

“I don’t know whether this will be my final year here or what the future has in store. When and if the opportunities are there, we’ll evaluate them together.”

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